In December 4th 2019 in Brussels The Friedrich Naumann Foundation and Lithuanian Free Market Institute organized a conference ”State Aid & Fair Competition – Can They Co-Exist?”.
State aid rules exert a significant impact on the functioning of the internal market and the use of public resources. In 2012 the EU carried out a State aid modernization reform, with the aim of simplifying State aid rules and making them more relevant for promoting sustainable, smart and inclusive growth in a competitive internal market. An evaluation process is now underway to determine whether the rules have actually worked in the intended way and are still fit for purpose.
Some pressing questions evolve around the design of State aid rules post 2020 if they are to deliver on these goals and the general principle that State aid is an exception rather than a standard. Should Member States be allowed to exploit EU policy objectives to justify state aid? What constitutes an appropriate degree of state aid control? How can State aid rules be construed to ensure a level playing field for all and prevent Member States from unwarranted financing of SOEs?
This conference was held to shed light on these and more questions, while proposing ideas on the revision of the State aid modernization package.
The video of the conference can be found here:
Panel 1: State Aid, Fair Competition and Procedural Challenges:
Panel 2: State Aid & SOEs: